My earliest childhood food memories swirl with the scents of fresh-baked challah, babka and ruggelach from my family’s kosher bakery. In grade school, I remember casing the joint on the hunt for tubs of icing and warm batches of sprinkly treats to assemble my signature cookie sandwiches.
My, my, how the baking racks have turned.
Today, I’m eight years gluten-free, and have clocked nearly 1,200 days on the keto diet. And, while Bulletproof-friendly fats have become my primary fuel source, my keto journey was by no means an easy one…
A growing appetite
Although I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always had a passion for magazines and food. In high school, I remember thumbing the pages of glossy culinary publications with the delicious dream of becoming a food critic. (I was brought up in a family that prioritized family dinners, from holiday comfort food to upscale dining on special occasions.)
Working with food was a tempting smorgasbord and I was hungry for a taste. They say you can never have too much of a good thing. They were wrong.
No one told me that in my early 20s, I’d be schmoozing alongside Miami tastemakers dining out five nights a week, expected to eat all the things—and I mean all the things.
Bottomless champagne and caviar? Check. Sweetbreads? Offal! Lobster mac and cheese and truffle risotto? You know it. Then, of course, there was dessert… We’re talking lavish chocolate truffles, deconstructed tiramisu dripping in coffee liqueur and quattro leches—yeah, I thought there were only tres leches, too!
Unfortunately, all of the indulging and lack of dieting eventually backfired. Hard. I fell into a long-lasting food coma that was so much worse than those lingering meat sweats after date night at the churrascaria.
My early career as a food writer had launched me into a downward physical and mental abyss.
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It was 2013 when I began to educate myself on the “clean eating” movement. I started devouring information on the perks of whole foods and how to enjoy them. (I was no stranger to the benefits of cutting carbs. I’d gone down that road before in college—aka the good ol’ Atkins phase.)
This time around was different. I wanted to explore a more sustainable path, and found gluten-free calling for me. I quickly became the annoying girl at the table asking all the menu questions. I was all about that quinoa life. I discovered baking with protein bars as pie crusts. I’d mastered the art of four-cheese lentils. But overall, I was still fueling my body with carbs from gluten-free pasta, corn tortillas and tapioca flour.
Although I’d started to enjoy the excitement that gluten-free cooking had sparked within me, I began to recognize those familiar extended periods of fatigue. It was hard to peel myself away from the latest Netflix binge—especially with my arm halfway down a freshly torn bag of gluten-free cheese curls.
Discovering fat as fuel
During my clean eating phase, I dabbled in paleo, but I’d always had a hard time giving up dairy. Over and over, I’d engage in these ridiculous self-curated green juice and raw veggie cleanses for days at a time, just so I could hit the reset. The patterns kept repeating. I was on a dietary rollercoaster!
Fast-forward to 2018. I’d relocated to Colorado and made the decision to “graduate” from gluten-free to keto. At first, I was entirely intimidated by the macro calculations (spoiler alert: not a math whiz here). At that point, I’d thrown away my scale (it was possessed, I tell ya!) and was unsure of how to go about what felt like an exhausting transition.
Although it took some tracking, estimating and adjusting to get things off the ground, within just a few weeks of acclimating and getting into ketosis, I was surprised to find I was firing on all cylinders, and shedding some pesky pounds!
Thanks to my morning Bulletproof Coffee with MCT oil and grass-fed butter, I experienced total mental clarity. I began to fuel my workdays and plow through my writing deadlines—in record time. I propelled my keto journey by cooking my locally raised proteins in high-quality fats, like pure coconut oil, avocado oil and pastured bacon fat (yum).
Closing out my work week early, I was feasting on home-cooked surf-and-turf dinners on Thursday, waking up at sunrise to hit the ski slopes on Friday and flipping keto pancakes to enjoy with a warm mug of French Roast on Saturday.
Life. Tasted. Good.
Next, I began supplementing with unflavored collagen in my afternoon tea. I even set out to use all of my frozen, organic vegetable scraps and leftover chicken bones to DIY 20-hour bone broth in the CrockPot—it was worth it!
In keto, I knew I’d finally met my nutritional match.
Constants and Covid
As I reflect on the past year, I’m reminded of several hardships. I uprooted my ‘comfortable’ life to become a digital nomad who’s now grounded in her hometown. I chased a mediocre-at-best relationship across the country (you know who you are). I lost work. I had upside-down and inside-out pandemic days where I just didn’t want to get out of bed.
However, the two constants I continue to hold onto are my morning Bulletproof Coffee (I’ve officially upgraded to Bulletproof Brain Octane C8 MCT Oil!) and my passion for keto cooking. Quarantine after-hours spent scrolling through Pinterest is my motivation. There’s never a cooking hack I won’t try, nor a keto recipe I won’t fry! Like hiking, painting or woodworking, keto cooking has become my ultimate therapy. It’s a skill I’ve finally mastered after so many years of trying to define my diet.
Nowadays, I have balance. I indulge in that guilt-free chocolate bar when I want it. I bake and assemble keto-friendly cookie sandwiches, brownies and cupcakes on weekends. And, I’ve learned to unlock even more hidden fuel stores thanks to my dedication to 16:8 intermittent fasting. Once a week for up to 50 hours, I even take on a longer fast that charges my battery like never before!
As an added pandemic perk, I was able to shave 5 inches off my waist and 6 inches from my hips by combining my keto and fasting practices. (I measure once in a while, because no scale, remember?!)
…What I’ve learned is that my relationship with food is mind over matter, and I’m now aiming to put my brainpower to better use.
Related: Longer Fasting on Keto for Self-Growth
A warm Bulletproof welcome
So, where has this saga landed me today? For the past six months, I’ve been planning the new content you’ve been perusing, right here on Bulletproof.com’s prized blog.
I’ve been hard at work behind the scenes coordinating relatable content that makes you feel good about your journey… from giving other inspirational storytellers a voice to creating self-care guides to curating all those mouth-watering, macro-friendly Bulletproof recipes you see.
In just a few days, I’ll join the Bulletproof family as a full-time employee. And, I couldn’t think of a better way to #BETHEPROOF than to continue spreading my gospel and nutritional wisdom—thanks to the brand that helped me find my fuel.
Want to read more about how Bulletproof products help everyday people #BETHEPROOF? Follow @bulletproof on social media and keep up with our blog for more inspiring stories from Bulletproof consumers just like you.
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The guest author of this blog was compensated for endorsement.
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